PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Reply

In response to a letter from a former work mate of Gregory's (

Dear Mary Ellen and Bob,

What can I say. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Never easy. Trite comments like "But we have so much for which to be grateful." are true but help little. People over the years have always been very kind with their advice, their "be good to yourselves," their love and affection, their suggestions. But in the end nothing really helps, does it? My "trite" comment for you would be, "Love is all we really have. Cherish it. Hold on to it." That has been my guiding principal.

I know, however, that advice from others doesn't really help until it becomes part of your own experience. I am happy that in some small way my journey with Gregory has been helpful to you both. My fervent wish for you, as it has been for me, is that I wish I could make it all go away! But since I cannot, I'll share Gregory and my motto that helped for many years, "We have a choice, lie down and die or hunker down and keep going the best we can!

Mary Ellen, Gregory always loved working with you and Thresholds was one of the career highlights of his life. He learned so much about people and caring and during that time of his life he met me, worked through leaving his wife after seven years, and eventually returned to his first love Architecture. He truly loved helping the residents at Thresholds; cooking with them, teaching life skills, going on shopping trips. In many ways you, and Jerry Dincin and Thresholds gave him a new identity which he has held on to this day.

Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts. In many ways they bring tears to my eyes. When I am able to step aside from my grief, my anger, my impatience, often my lack of compassion, my fear, my loneliness, my being less than perfect in my support of Gregory, my selfishness ... I do know that I did a wonderful job helping Gregory cope and manage to live with Alzheimer's for so many years. And even today when he is so much less than he was, and in my role as Secondary Care Giver with Lieberman taking most of the responsibility, he is safe, well taken care of, and loved by many many people.


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